Deals, Freebies Around DC for the Government Shutdown - NBC4 Washington

Deals, Freebies Around DC for the Government Shutdown

Furloughed federal workers can score deals, discounts and freebies throughout the city



    Furloughed federal workers may be feeling a squeeze on their bank accounts during the government shutdown, but plenty of businesses are trying to ease the pain with freebies and discounts.

    For more on the shutdown, here's what you can and cannot do, what's open and what's closed, and how to find help in the D.C. area.

    From discount admission at paid museums to cheap drinks to fitness classes, here's where you can score a deal:

    Food and Drink Deals

    Various Locations

    The chain is offering free pies to furloughed government workers and $5 pies to  contractors (one per person) from 3 to 5 p.m. each day of the shutdown. You'll need your government-issued ID. Note that this deal has changed a couple of times; you can keep up with @andpizza on Twitter to stay tuned for any future changes.

    Across the Pond Restaurant & Pub
    1732 Connecticut Ave. NW

    Federal workers get 10 percent off with government ID at Across the Pond Restaurant & Pub. Not valid on in-house specials.

    Free Beer Via Pay It Furloughed
    Various Locations

    Furloughed and unpaid workers and contractors can score free beers — paid for with funds donated online at Three local breweries, Atlas, DC Brau and 3 Stars, plus Shop Made In DC, are participating as of Jan. 15. Those looking to buy a beer for others can do so here; those looking to get a free beer may find more info here.

    Baked by Yael
    3000 Connecticut Ave. NW

    Federal employees and contractors can get a free coffee through the shutdown. Zoo employees required to work without pay can get a free bagel sandwich or small soup each weekday.

    The Brighton
    949 Wharf St. SW

    Show your federal ID for 10 percent off your order at this spot on The Wharf.

    Capitol Lounge
    229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

    Capitol Lounge offers federal employees with on-theme cocktails for $5. Drinks include the Nothing Really Mattis and the Border Wall Banger.

    City Tap Penn Quarter
    901 9th St. NW

    Happy hour is extended from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day during the shutdown. That includes $5 select drafts, $6 house wines and $7 beer and a shot combo.

    Cork Wine Bar & Market
    1805 14th St. NW

    Cork Wine Bar says it's offering all-day happy hour through the shutdown.

    The Dog Park
    705 King St., Alexandria, Virginia

    The shop is offering 20 percent off all dog and cat food (cans/kibble) for those affected by the shutdown, with government or contractor ID.

    Duplex Diner 
    2004 18th St. NW

    Duplex Diner is offering furloughed feds a free Monday meal and a glass of wine. Bring your ID or business card. 

    Hula Girl Truck
    4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Virginia

    Furloughed government employees can show their ID to get a free beer and a burger at the bar during happy hour, which runs Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    Maggiano's Chevy Chase
    5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW

    The Italian chain is offering 50 percent off to government employees.

    ThinkFoodGroup Restaurants
    Various Locations

    José Andrés promised to give federal workers and their families a free sandwich at the bar of any of the famed chef's restaurants, including Oyamel, Zaytinya, America Eats Tavern and Beefsteak. The offer stands from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily until the shutdown ends, Andres tweeted. You'll need to show a federal ID.

    Peri Peri Original
    6456 Old Beulah St., Alexandria

    Anyone with a federal government ID can get a free chicken or beef burger, with the option of adding free fries or a soda, available until the shutdown ends.

    The Queen Vic
    1206 H St. NE

    Federal government employees can flash the bartender a federal ID during the shutdown for an 18 percent discount.

    Wings Over College Park
    4200 Hartwick Road, College Park, Maryland

    Guests with a current federal government ID can get free wings and sandwiches.

    World Central Kitchen
    701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW 

    Chef José Andrés' nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen will open an "emergency kitchen" to feed federal workers affected by the shutdown. It's set to be open every day starting Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will serve a "rotating menu of hot meals, sandwiches and salads," a statement from the organization said. Take-home meal kits will be offered soon. Go here for more info.

    Z Burger Tenleytown
    4321 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

    Z-Burger Tenleytown is offering free meals to government workers affected by the shutdown and their families Friday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This offer is good for one free burger and soda per person to furloughed government workers with ID along with their family members.

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    Music, Museums and Experiences

    Arena Stage 
    1101 Sixth St. SW

    Arena Stage is offering free tickets to the plays "Kleptocracy" and "The Heiress" to federal workers, on limited dates. Go here for info. The offer expires Jan. 23.

    B&O Railroad Museum
    901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore

    Show your federal ID for free admission as long as workers are furloughed.

    Fed Up!: Free Concert at Rock & Roll Hotel
    1353 H St. NE

    A special night for federal employees and friends Thursday, Jan. 17 will feature three local bands composed mostly of furloughed workers. The bands will donate any proceeds to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund. All federal employees with valid ID get free tickets (two maximum per order) while supplies last. Tickets are $15 for everyone else. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 8 p.m.

    George Mason University’s Center for the Arts
    4400 University Drive, MS 2F5, Fairfax, VA

    Federal employees can see performances of MOMIX Jan. 25 at 8 p.m., Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. and The Phantom Toolbooth Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. for $5.

    George Mason University Basketball
    EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, VA

    Complimentary tickets to men's and women's basketball games for federal workers affected by the shutdown. Limit two per federal employee with a valid government ID. Offer can be redeemed at the box office on the day of the game. Call the ticket office at 703-993-3270 for details. 

    Hylton Performing Arts Center
    10960 George Mason Circle Manassas, VA

    Federal employees can see performances of We Shall Overcome Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. and The Phantom Toolbooth Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. for $5.

    The Mansion on O Street
    2020 O St. NW

    Furloughed federal employees will receive a free beer or glass of wine with regular admission during the government shutdown by showing their ID upon arrival.

    National Building Museum
    401 F St. NW

    Federal employees can show their ID for free admission until the shutdown is over. The DC Is Open campaign is offering a number of discounts.

    555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

    Federal employees get free admission during the shutdown by showing their badge in person at the admissions desk. Everyone else can get 15 percent off on general admissions tickets at during the shutdown (the tickets must be used by Dec. 31, 2019). The DC Is Open campaign is offering a number of discounts.

    Phillips Collection
    1600 21st St. NW

    Federal employees get free admission with government ID during the shutdown.

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    1110 Ripley St., Silver Spring and 6960 C Maple St. NW

    Take an indoor cycling class at CYCLED! of Silver Spring, or try a cycling, barre or yoga sculpt class at the Takoma Park location. Use the code "SweatItOut@CYCLED!" to sign up, and to show your government ID at check-in.

    Montgomery County Parks:
    Various Locations

    Furloughed government employees can get the following discounts, with valid federal ID:

    • 50 percent off any public skating admission at Cabin John Ice Rink and Wheaton Ice Arena (for federal employees and up to three family members)
    • 50 percent off a bucket of balls at the South Germantown Driving Range
    • 50 percent off a Spot Time court fee at Pauline Betz Addie Tennis and Wheaton Indoor Tennis
    • 25 percent discount on all permits and rentals, good for events happening while the permit holder is furloughed

    RYDE Cycle
    1025 N. Fillmore St., Suite J, Arlington

    For the duration of the government shutdown, the rhythm-based cycling studio in Clarendon is offering free 5:30 p.m. classes Monday through Thursday for those with a federal ID. Also offering free shoe rentals for all classes for those with a federal ID.

    Sweat DC
    3232 Georgia Ave. NW, Suite 105

    All are offered a free two-week pass. This Petworth studio is known for 45-minute, high-intensity core-cardio-strength classes. The Sweat Strong class uses higher levels of equipment, more dynamic moves and offers more one-on-one attention.

    Other Services


    Whole Health Associates is offering free seated (ear) acupuncture treatments to any furloughed federal employee Friday, Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They say the treatment helps with stress, sleep and "a bit of detox to clear us of both physical and psychological 'garbage'." Tea and sandwiches will be available too. RSVP via email at or by calling 202-822-1711. If they get enough interest, they'll do it again each week until everyone is back to work. 

    1742 Connecticut Ave. NW

    Furloughed federal workers can get free haircuts.


    Ride-share service Via is offering a free $10 credit for new users with "ViaForLow." You'll need to download the app for Apple or Android. 

    Have any discounts to add to the list? Email or tweet at us!

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